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  • Editors' Note

We would like to note the passing of Donald J. Winslow, best known in our field for his text A Glossary of Terms in Life-Writing: Biography, Autobiography, and Related Forms, which first appeared as installments in issues one and two of Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly in 1978. In 1980, this glossary inaugurated the Biography Monograph series as a small reference book; a second edition appeared in 1995.

Donald Winslow was born in 1911, and attended Tufts and Boston University; after serving in World War II, he returned to BU as a faculty member, where he specialized in teaching Thomas Hardy, Virginia Woolf, Eighteenth Century British Literature, and Biography. He was one of the first faculty members in the United States to teach a course on the subject.

He was already an emeritus professor when he agreed to become this journal's first bibliographer, and his interest in life writing remained strong during the ensuing thirty-four years of his retirement. He died on June 10th of this year, still engaged and active, at the age of ninety-eight.

At the IABA conference in Sussex, I heard a paper on the history of biography theory and criticism by Binne De Haan. Donald Winslow's groundbreaking work was duly acknowledged—for many years, his Glossary was virtually the only reference text in the field. And regardless about how we may feel about the hyphen, his decision to use the term Life-Writing to describe "biography, autobiography, and related forms" was an important contribution to our understanding of what we study. As Margaretta Jolly would note when explaining her own reasons for calling her landmark 2001 work the Encyclopedia of Life Writing, "The term 'life writing' itself, recorded in the 18th century, and gaining wide academic acceptance since the 1980s, has been chosen for the title because of its openness and inclusiveness across genre, and because it encompasses the writing of one's own or another's life." Donald Winslow was certainly one of the people who ensured that acceptance.

The editors and staff of Biography extend their sympathy and best wishes to Don's wife Charlotte, and to his extended family. [Begin Page iii]

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1456
Print ISSN
0162-4962
Pages
p. iii
Launched on MUSE
2010-10-30
Open Access
No
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